Volume 2, Chapter
Archbishop Lefebvre preached
this sermon on 28 October 1979, the Feast of Christ the King. It
provides a pertinent reminder to traditional Catholics that their
lives should be motivated by a profound love for Our Lord Jesus
Christ, and a sincere effort to do His will. Living by the precepts
expounded by the Archbishop in this sermon is the most effective
means by which traditional Catholics can avoid the danger of schism
against which Professor Salleron warned in the preceding chapter.
A movement which does not define itself by what it is for, but by
what it is against, can have no spiritual dimension. It will inevitably
degenerate into an introverted, bitter, and declining minority.
"Are our hearts truly attached to Our Lord Jesus Christ?"
asks the Archbishop. "Are we conscious that Our Lord Jesus
Christ is our ALL
– Omnia in omnibus?
Jesus Christ is all and in all things." The full text of the
Archbishop’s sermon follows:
In the name
of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
My dear brethren,
In the magnificent
Encyclical Quas Primas of His Holiness Pope Pius XI, instituting
the Feast of Christ the King, the Pope explains why Our Lord Jesus
Christ is truly King, and he gives two particular and profound reasons.
There are indeed many scriptural proofs. We have just read the Gospel
in which Our Lord Jesus Christ proclaims Himself King. There are
many passsages from the Psalms and in the New Testament which express
this same quality of Our Lord Jesus Christ as King. But His Holiness
Pius XI takes care to deepen our knowledge of the reasons of this
The first reason
is what the Church calls the "hypostatic union," the union
of the Divine Person of Our Lord with His human nature. Our Lord
is King because He is God. Indeed, there are not two persons in
Our Lord, there is not one Divine Person and one human person. There
is only one person – the Divine Person who directly assumed a human
soul and a human body without passing by the intermediary of a human
person. Consequently, when we speak of Jesus Christ, we say the
Person of Jesus Christ. Now, this person of Jesus is a Divine Person.
Certainly, Jesus Christ is both God and man since He assumed a human
soul and a human body. Thus, the human soul and the human body of
Our Lord Jesus Christ have become so intimately united to God that
they cannot be separated. It is the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ
which is entirely Divine, and by His Person, His Body and Soul are
Thus, Our Lord
Jesus Christ as He presented Himself along the roads of Palestine,
and even as He presented Himself as an infant in Bethlehem, is King.
Not only does He possess the character of this royalty but also
the Church teaches that by this union of God with human nature,
with a soul and with a body, which He assumed, Our Lord Jesus Christ
is essentially, by nature – Savior, Priest and King. He cannot be
but Savior, for He alone may say that He is God. He alone is able
to say that He is the Priest, the Pontiff – He who
truly makes the link between heaven and earth – and also He alone
is able to say that He is the King. He is not king according
to the kingships of this world, that is to say, over a given territory
and limited to the earth, to men. Indeed, Our Lord is King not only
of the earth but also of heaven. This is the first profound reason
for the royalty of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and of this we must be
convinced in order to see Our Lord as King, our personal King. Our
Lord Jesus Christ is our King.
But He is King
for another reason as well. Pope Pius XI explains perceptively that
Our Lord Jesus Christ is King by conquest. By what conquest?
It is because
Our Lord Jesus Christ has conquered all by His Blood, by His Cross
and by Calvary. Regnavit a ligno Deus, God has reigned from
the wood, i.e., from the Cross, Our Lord has conquered all souls,
whomsoever they may be, by right – a strict right. All souls since
they are created by God, even if they live for only a moment here
on earth, are, by right, subjects of Our Lord Jesus Christ because
He conquered them by His Blood. He wants to save them. He desires
to redeem them all by His Blood, His Divine Blood, in order to lead
them to heaven. Yes, Our Lord, by His Precious Blood and by His
Cross, is by right Our King. This is the very reason why in the
early centuries after the peace of Constantine, when the Christians
were officially able to present the Cross in their churches, in
their chapels and in other places of worship, they usually represented
Our Lord Jesus Christ as a crowned King; crowned with the crown
of kings. Christ is surely our King and He is King by His Cross.
We must then
consider the principles of this nature of Our Lord Jesus Christ,
King of this conquest which Jesus has made upon our hearts and our
souls by His death upon the Cross. Is Our Lord Jesus Christ daily
in practice, in all our actions, in all of our thoughts, truly our
King? Pope Pius XI continues in his encyclical to describe the manner
in which Our Lord must be our King.
He must be
the King of our intellects and of our thoughts because He us the
truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth, because He is God.
Is then Our
Lord Jesus Christ truly King of our thoughts? Is it He who truly
orients all of our thoughts, our reflections, our intellectual life,
in the life of our Faith? Is it truly Our Lord Jesus Christ Who
is the light of our intellects? Is He King of our wills?
He is the Law.
If the Tablets of the Law were found in the Ark of the Covenant
in the Old Testament, they represented precisely Our Lord Jesus
Christ, Who today is found in our tabernacles. But today with a
tremendous superiority have we the Law in our tabernacles, in our
"arks of the covenant." It is no longer the cold stones
of the Old Testament but rather it is Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself
Who is the Law. The Word of God is the Law by Whom all has been
made, in Whom all things have been created. He is the Law not only
of souls, of minds, of wills, but He is the Law of all nature. All
the laws which we discover in nature come from Our Lord Jesus Christ
– come from the Word of God. It suffices to consider that all creatures
follow with incomparable fidelity the laws of God, that they follow
physical laws, chemical laws, and all the laws of vegetative nature,
of animal nature. These laws are followed impeccably.
And we, too,
must follow in a diligent manner, in a free manner, the laws of
God inscribed in our hearts. It is precisely due to our liberty
that we must attach ourselves to this law which is the path of our
happiness, the way to eternal life.
Man has turned
away from this law.
Our Lord Jesus
Christ must then be – must again become – the King of our wills
and we must conform our wills to His Law, to His Law of love, to
His Law of charity, to the Commandments which He has given us and
which He Himself told us encompass all other Commandments: To love
God and to love one's neighbors. Are not these two in fact one and
the same Commandment? It is He Who tells us so. Do we then truly
conform our wills to the law of Our Lord Jesus Christ? Is Jesus
Christ truly King of our wills?
has to be, as Pope Pius XI tells us, the King of our hearts. Are
our hearts truly attached to Our Lord Jesus Christ? Are we conscious
of the fact that Our Lord Jesus Christ is our ALL – Omnia in
omnibus? Jesus Christ is all and in things. It is He in ipso
omnia constant as St. Paul says. In Him all is sustained, in
Him we live, in Him we are and we act. It is this that St. Paul
explains in his discourse to the Areopagite: "In ipso vivimus,
in ipso movemur, in ipso sumus” – He holds all in His hand.
We must then
wonder what the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph must have thought.
I believe that there is an admirable example for us. If we truly
desire that Jesus Christ be our King we must try to imagine what
Nazareth must have been. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. What must Mary
have thought of Jesus? What must Joseph have thought of Jesus? It
is incredible! It is a great mystery, an impenetrable mystery of
goodness, of the charity of God. To think that He permitted two
creatures chosen by Him, to live with Him! For St. Joseph during
thirty years, for the Blessed Virgin during thirty-three years,
in the intimacy of Jesus, in the intimacy of Him Who is God. It
is He without Whom neither Mary nor Joseph could speak, think, nor
live. Mary bearing Jesus in her arms, bearing God in her arms! As
the Gospel often says it was not she who was bearing Jesus but Jesus
who was bearing her. For Jesus was much greater than she, for He
is God. Just think what must have been in the soul, will and heart
of the Blessed Virgin Mary living with Jesus, seeing Him with His
young companions, seeing Him working with St. Joseph.
We also have
the joy to live with Our Lord.
the delicate envelope of her body, the Blessed Virgin Mary adored
the Living God for she knew – she knew that the living God was in
her womb. She knew this through by the Annunciation by the angel.
And St. Joseph knew it perfectly as well.
We, too, know
that we have the living Jesus in our tabernacles under the delicate
Eucharistic species. Jesus is there! Not only do we have Him in
our tabernacles, but moreover in a manner which I would say is almost
more intimate than that of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of St. Joseph,
when Our Lord gives Himself to us as our spiritual food.
truly in our bodies, in our hearts we bear Jesus – we bear God who
sustains us, for without Him we would not be able to live nor exist
nor say a single word nor even think a single thought. And we bear
this God in the Holy Eucharist!
Let us ask
Our Lord Jesus Christ when we receive Him in us that He be our King
– that He may give us the thoughts of the Blessed Virgin Mary and
of St. Joseph; that He may grant us the affections of the hearts
of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, these creatures whom
He chose from all eternity to be His guardians, to be those with
whom He was to live.
Ask them –
ask Mary and Joseph – to help us live under the sweet Kingdom of
Our Lord Jesus Christ. One day, we hope that we shall be in that
Kingdom and that we shall see Him in His splendor and in His glory
as we say so often when we recite the Angelus: ut per passionem
ejus et crucem ad resurrectionis gloriam perducamur – in
order that by His Passion and Cross we may be brought to the
glory of His Resurrection.
also must pass now by the Passion and Cross of Jesus upon the earth
in order that one day we may be able to join in the glory of His
Resurrection, this glory which illuminates heaven, which is heaven,
for God is heaven. That Our Lord Jesus Christ is heaven. In Him
we will live in the grace of God by the grace of God. If we have
Him as our King here on earth, then we shall have Him as our King
for all eternity.
Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph today, not only for us, but for
our families, for all those who surround us, that they may come
to the light of Our Lord Jesus Christ, that they recognize evil,
and also for those who do not obey Him or who have withdrawn themselves
from Him. Have pity on all these souls who do not know the King
of Love and of Glory, in Whom we have the happiness to believe,
in Whom we have the happiness to love. Beseech Our Lord Jesus Christ
and the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph to convert all these
souls to Our Lord Jesus Christ, the King.
Courtesy of the Angelus
Press, Regina Coeli House
2918 Tracy Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64109